Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Readers put in suggestions

I'm pulling suggestions for female musicians that commenters would like to highlight and bringing them up here.

Elayne points out a lovely blog post on the Indigo Girls here. I would add that generally I don't really like the acoustic singer/songwriter-y stuff, but their music is fun to listen to.

NancyP is an opera fan and would like to remind everyone of the great Maria Callas, a diva from where "diva" is a title you earned by singing, not by showing your legs on VH1.

Cuddlefish reminds us of Sue Foley, who I probably might not have remembered, even though I see her all the time on TV here in Austin. The conventional wisdom is that women can't play blues guitar, and because of this Bonnie Raitt is given the token treatment--I've actually heard sexist fans say she's the exception that proves the rule. Too bad for them that fantastic guitarists like Sue Foley are out there to make you wonder how many exceptions does it take before you realize there are no rules?

Since we have a sampling from all sorts of musical genres, I thought I would bring up someone I was listening to last night who prided herself on her ability to sample from all sorts of musical genres--Nina Simone. She would probably consider herself a folk singer, but she tended to sing everything from jazz and blues to Broadway tunes to folk music. Nina never intended to be a singer at the beginning--she was a piano player, but it was hard for her to get jobs unless she sang as well.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me look at my old playlists to make some recomendations:

- Rasputina. The line-up has changed several times over the years, but they're a 2-3 piece band of women playing cellos (sometimes with a male drummer). Very quirky, sort of alt-rock/chamber music/goth.

- Medusa & Feline Science. Amazing female rapper and her mostly female back-up band. They play shows almost weekly here in LA, but they haven't released a damn album yet. The only place I know you can hear Medusa on record is on a track on the Embrace the Chaos album by Ozo.

- Dresden Dolls. Male-female duo with the woman doing the vocals. Keeps getting called "cabaret punk." That name kinda fits. Piano-based, theatrical, unhinged rock, at least.

Now I'm running out of time to write, so I'll just list recommendations. Bjork, Portishead, Cocteau Twins, the Epoxies, the Donnas, Princess Superstar, Heavenly, the Von Bondies, Concrete Blonde, Lauryn Hill, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Le Tigre, the Distillers, Siouxsie, Sonic Youth, Cowboy Junkies, the Gossip, Candypants, and PJ Harvey.

Jake.

9/26/2004

 
Blogger wolfa said...

Well, we have Throwing Muses/Kristen Hersh, and all the related groups (Belly/Tanya Donelly). Aimee Mann. Shawn Colvin. Dar Williams (I like folk, obviously). Jann Arden.

9/26/2004

 
Blogger Elayne said...

I'm old. So very old. When Janis Ian sang "At 17," I was 17. That's how old I am. Give me stories about Ronnie Gilbert, Lita Ford, Siouxie Sioux, all the ex-GoGos, hell I want to see something about Charo that concentrates on her incredible guitar playing rather than her coochie-coochie schtick...

9/26/2004

 
Blogger flea said...

Susan Tedeschi also plays blues guitar. Her album "Just Won't Burn" kicks ass. My husband and I saw her open for Buddy Guy at the Aragon in Chicago 5 years ago, and she blew us away.

9/26/2004

 
Blogger flea said...

Crap! I got sidetracked by blues guitarists and forgot I had originally intended to mention Joan Jett. So, yeah. Her.

9/26/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

Thanks for all the ideas! Some of these I had in mind, and some I definitely want to look into.

9/26/2004

 
Blogger La Lubu said...

Did you see Nina Simone on the Ovation network--the Montreal Jazz Festival? That was phenomenal.

Anyway, don't forget about Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith, Deborah Iyall (Romeo Void), Neneh Cherry, Pauline Black (of Selecter, if you like ska), Alice Coltrane, Sheila Escovedo (who was playing jazz percussion long before she worked with Prince), Deborah Coleman (great blues guitar!), Marcia Ball (great jump blues piano!), Cynthia Blackmon (jazz and rock drummer, has backed up Lenny Kravitz), Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor, Etta James, Janis Joplin, Meshell NdegeOcello, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Ursula Rucker, Sarah Jones ("Your Revolution will not happen between these thighs").....

want me to keep going?

9/26/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go fer it. I will be making a list and just knocking off names as I go. ;)

9/26/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

Dammit, that was me, by the way.

9/26/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Sweet Honey in the Rock. A capella group of 5+ women with amazing musicianship and compositional/arrangement skills - like listening to a good string quartet. Many traditional gospel tunes, but also many good new compositions in a variety of styles - and the lyrics are strongly for social justice (race, women, lgbt, disabled). Food for the soul.

2. Loreena McKennitt. Celtic singer with haunting voice and interesting orchestrations of traditional songs and new material.

3. Odd choice, this, because she didn't appear in public much. But Nadia Boulanger taught many of the great classical composers of the 20th century.

And of course, RIP Nina Simone, one of the great musical truth-tellers of the civil rights era.

See, this opera geek does know a few things outside her fave genre.
NancyP

9/26/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Sweet Honey in the Rock. A capella group of 5+ women with amazing musicianship and compositional/arrangement skills - like listening to a good string quartet. Many traditional gospel tunes, but also many good new compositions in a variety of styles - and the lyrics are strongly for social justice (race, women, lgbt, disabled). Food for the soul.

2. Loreena McKennitt. Celtic singer with haunting voice and interesting orchestrations of traditional songs and new material.

3. Odd choice, this, because she didn't appear in public much. But Nadia Boulanger taught many of the great classical composers of the 20th century.

And of course, RIP Nina Simone, one of the great musical truth-tellers of the civil rights era.

See, this opera geek does know a few things outside her fave genre.

9/26/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sleater Kinney, if you please. Carrie, Corrin, and Janet rock it like nobodys business.

9/26/2004

 
Blogger Hugo said...

From the country side:

Emmylou Harris
Dolly Parton (don't laugh, listen to the raw talent.)
Alison Krauss
Mindy Smith
Gillian Welch
Iris DeMent
Mary-Chapin Carpenter
Patty Griffin

9/26/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's laughing at Dolly Parton? She is one great performer.
NancyP

9/26/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

I wouldn't laugh at Dolly Parton, but I sure as hell love laughing *with* Dolly Parton.

9/26/2004

 
Blogger Hugo said...

Sorry. I often tell people I'm a big Dolly Parton fan, and I get laughed at...

9/27/2004

 
Blogger sb said...

I'm not sure how you define "musician" -- but some of my favorite singers include Jane Siberry, Annie Lennox, Kate Bush . . .

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